Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

Photo Jon Vincent/VANDOCUMENT

Mazda Scoop Hood (Coppers from the Hood Series)

Copper, steel, pigment
46”x 62”x 5”

Copper from the Hood works are fabricated from car hoods embellished with copper leaf, referencing the coppers which were a traditional sign of wealth amongst the Haida while also locating the work within a contemporary context where value is defined by cars and other consumer goods.

Curator: Rick Erickson


Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas’ wide-ranging artistic practice explores themes of identity, environmentalism and the human condition. Influenced by both the tradition of Haida iconography and contemporary Asian visual culture, he has created an artistic practice that crosses diverse cultures, generations, and disciplines.

Yahgulanaas uses art to communicate a world view that, while particular to Haida Gwaii, his ancestral North Pacific archipelago, is also relevant to a contemporary and internationally-engaged audience. Working in multiple forms including painting, sculpture and illustrated publications, his artistic practice is acclaimed for its vitality and originality.
Raised in Delkatla, Haida Gwaii, Yahgulanaas began working as an artist after many decades in the leadership of the Haida Nation’s successful campaign to protect its people’s indigenous culture and environment. In the past decade, Yahgulanaas’ work has been presented in museums across Canada and all over the world, including at international exhibitions in Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Europe. His art works are in numerous public and private collections including the British Museum (London, England), the Vancouver Art Gallery (Vancouver, Canada), the Glenbow Museum (Calgary, Canada) and the Museum of Anthropology (Vancouver, Canada). His large sculptural works are part of the public art collection of the City of Vancouver in Canada. In 2011/2012, Yahgulanaas was the Audain Professor in Contemporary Arts of the Pacific Northwest at the University of Victoria.

Yahgulanaas’ publications include A Tale of Two Shamans (2001), The Last Voyage of the Black Ship (2002), Hachidori (2005), the internationally awarded Flight of the Hummingbird (2008), RED, a Haida Manga (2009), The Canoe He Called Lootaas (2010), and Old Growth (2012). He is also the illustrator of David Suzuki’s The Declaration of Interdependence: A Pledge to Planet Earth .